Bement in Piatt County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Bement Goes to War
Looking for Lincoln
When Civil War broke out, Edgar, James and William volunteered. Edgar enlisted in August 1862 as a member of Company H, 107th regiment Illinois Volunteers Infantry which was mustered into the United States service at Camp Butler, Illinois.
Edgar was promoted to First lieutenant, then Captain (in February 1863). Copies of Ordinances issued by Camp are shown here. While on the skirmish line near Kenesaw Mountain, he fell mortally wounded on June 16, 1864. James and William survived.
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Bement was young at the beginning of the Civil War. It was incorporated as a village in 1860, and the first states seceded in February 1861. War started in April. The State of Illinois was unprepared when Governor Richard Yates received this message: “Washington, April 15, 1861, His Excellency Richard Yates: Call made on you by tonight’s mail for six regiments of militia for immediate service - -
There were no available efficient, armed, and organized militia companies in the State. Within five days volunteers in excess of Illinois’s quota had reported for service. A week later, in a letter from Bement, dated April 23rd, Dr. Elam Bodman, who later volunteered his own services, wrote, “We are surely in critical and trying times. The great trial of our beloved country is surely at hand. May God give us a happy deliverance. There is terrible excitement here. Volunteers are turning out freely.”
Response throughout Piatt County was overwhelming. Based on the 1860 census, Illinois sent 100 volunteers for each 742 inhabitants, while Piatt County had 100 men for each 580 citizens. Bement Township did even better by sending 100 soldiers for each 465 people.
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The Civil War proved a great burden to many Illinois families. Over 60% of the Bement Township volunteers were from the farm. Those left behind were hard pressed to get the work done. The need for food for civilians and soldiers was great.
As a matter of survival, women and children took to the fields to maintain family farms. Women without farm responsibilities found new opportunities. The enlistment of store clerks and others provided openings for educated women. Many participated
Women like Mrs. Sarah Bryant often took the lead in organizing voluntary associations, in order to provide for those left without support. Events were organized to raise funds for relief. Women worked with church groups, as well as these new organizations to establish charitable societies to provide for one another.
Erected 2009 by State Bank of Bement.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Looking for Lincoln series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1863.
Location. 39° 55.411′ N, 88° 34.315′ W. Marker is in Bement, Illinois, in Piatt County. Marker is on East Wilson Street east of North Macon Street, on the left when traveling east. Easy to see from East Wilson Street - located on the East lawn of the "Sarah & Francis Bryant home (Cottage)" Illinois State Historic Site in Bement. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bement IL 61813, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Bement Connection (a few steps from this marker); Douglas - Lincoln Debates (a few steps from this marker); Bryant Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln - DouglasLincoln in Monticello (approx. 7 miles away); Piatt County Veterans Memorial (approx. 7 miles away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 7 miles away); Monticello Journeys (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bement.
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln::. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on October 31, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day..." (Submitted on October 31, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 31, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,642 times since then and 96 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on October 31, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.